Design Press

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Design Books On Our Wishlists


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I’ll let you in on a secret. I have a serious online book binge spending problem. My throw pillow and shoe impulse buys don’t hold a candle to a gorgeous hardcover book about architecture, landscape architecture or interiors. To try and find some balance, I hoard my spare change and then take it to one of those Coinstar machines so that I can get Amazon gift certificates. Here’s what me and my coffee table are currently literally saving our pennies for.

Designers at Home: Personal Reflections on Stylish Living by Ronda Rice Carman. We love designers. We love peeking into their homes. And most of all, we love the author Ronda and her blog, All the Best.

Kengo Kuma: Complete Works by Kenneth Frampton. This monograph is full of breathtaking ethereal designs by the Japanese architect, and organized by materials – water and glass, wood, grass and bamboo and stone, earth and ceramics. If you have a loved one graduating from architecture school this spring, this is a perfect gift, trust me!

Conde Nast Traveler Photographs: 25th Anniversary Collection. This beautiful compilation of photos from the pages of Conde Nast Traveler will have you thinking “I want to go to there!” every time you turn the page. Plus, on a shallower note, the taxicab yellow cover with its and graphic punch of type makes it a great design accessory that will draw the eye no matter where you stash it.

Speaking shallowly of eye-catching covers, this one caught my eye. Living Modern: California Design 1930-1965, edited by Wendy Kaplan, celebrates the unique way California architects interpreted mid-century modern style during the height of the movement. The book accompanied last year’s exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

The 50 Best Plants on the Planet: The Most Nutritient-Dense Fruits and Vegetables, in 150 Delicious Recipes by Cathy Thomas. OK, so not technically a design book, this book can help you plan out your spring garden for some yard-to-table treats, and is perfect for foodies, budding chefs and green thumbs alike.

Which design books do you have your eye on this spring? Let us know in the Comments section!


Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Around the Web This Week


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What have you all been checking out on the web lately? I’ve been all over the place and yet seem to wind up in the same old places as well, like a favorite, Colossal

Colossal introduced me to these wire birds perched in trees in Geneva, created by Cédric Le Borgne and part of an outdoor tree lighting festival. Of course, if you have ornithophobia, waking up and looking out your apartment window at this could be dangerous for your health.

I also took a thorough virtual tour of Bob Hope’s desert home, now on the market. This home is supposed to look like a volcano and was designed by beloved architect John Lautner. It’s over 23,00o square feet, which is crazier than living in a volcano. It has views of the Coachella Valley, so I’m very curious to know if you can see TuPac’s hologram from the patio during the festival.

Take the tour over at Zillow’s blog. Be sure to check out the e-brochure, as the sketches and black and white photos are quite breathtaking.

Speaking of popular architects, it’s been about a week and a half since we found out Toyo Ito won the Pritzker Prize, but it takes awhile to get to know the body of work from his long career. Whenever I need a little break from work, I head on over to Toyo Ito & Associates for inspiration.

Speaking of breaks from work, I love to giggle over Passive-Aggressive notes dot com, don’t you? The busting of Alex really cracked me up. I picture this guy having Popeye arms and a serious tab down at GNC.

What are you checking out on the internet this week? Shoot us a link in the Comments section!


Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Five Books To Help Get You Organized


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

Vitra Uten Silo

Alright you all, there is just a week left in January and if you’re anything like I am, you probably ran out of that New Year’s resolution organizing steam about a week ago!

Did you get anything done? A closet cleaned? A junk drawer straightened? Tell me you at least took one box to the Goodwill or labeled something? If not, don’t fret;  it’s a good time to give yourself a kick in the bum and  try again! True confessions: I currently have two toppling stacks of tax receipts and files in the middle of my floor. I was hoping looking at the mess would make me work on them but instead I’ve learned not to see them.

One way to get your organizational juices flowing is by picking up a good book. Here are five tried and true tomes that will help you get inspired:

1. Good Things for Organizing by Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Say what you want about Martha, but she didn’t get where she is today by being disorganized.

2. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I loved this book because I could totally relate, skip around and read it out of order and enjoy seeing how Rubin’s life improved as she organized her life and priorities. She has another book out now called Happier At Home that I can’t recommend as I haven’t read it yet, but based on how much I enjoyed The Happiness Project, I’m betting it’s a good one!

3. Speaking of happiness and books, The Happy Home Book. Nayar digs deep into all sorts of topics, from how to live a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle to ancient traditions like Vastu. Though packed with all sorts of information, her writing style is accessible and makes this a very enjoyable read.

4. Peruse Real Simple 869 New Uses For Old Things before you get started. You may come across some junk that might just be useful during your cleanouts. Plus, some of the ideas might get you excited to start sorting and see if you can unearth any of the “old things” and use them in new ways.

5. If you’re finally ready to get serious, get your hands on a copy of Unclutter Your Life In One Week by Erin Rooney Doland. Be warned: The amount of things Doland expects your to accomplish in one day is exhausting. I read this book as Unclutter Your Life In One Month and tried to get a day or two’s worth of Doland’s tasks accomplished in one week. It’s a great step-by-step guide that will take you through the entire house.


Friday, December 7th, 2012

Design Books on My Coffee Table’s List


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I love to make an Amazon wishlist before the holidays, and it’s my coffee table likes to chime in with the picks it wants to sit atop it. Right now, my Scandinavian mid-century modern slat table has been surfing the internet a lot, and I think he’s made some great picks. If you have a design nut on your list or just want soem inspiration for yourself, check out these titles.

Doris Duke’s Shangri-La. The fabulous estate of Duke’s in Honolulu was modern yet full of intricate Islamic details, rich colors and was truly a paradise. Most of us wont’ ever get to stay at a property like this, but at least we can take a virtual visit with this book.

Speaking of places I’ve never been to, I am hankering to see the amazing interiors of Havana via author Hermes Mallea’s Great Houses of Havana.

American Beauty by Thom Filicia. Here Thom takes you through a renovation process of his lake house in upstate New York. The results are stunning, and the only quibble I have with the book is that it makes me wish I were a houseguest.

Steven Gambrel: Time and Place. I’ve been ripping out Gambrel’s images from magazines for years; it would be so wonderful to have this collection of ten of his major designs all together, happily hanging out on my coffee table. Incidentally, both Thom Filicia and Steven Gambrel’s books were photographed by the talented Eric Piasecki.

Which books are you hankering for right now? Please share the titles you and/or your coffee table are hankering for in the comments section.


Friday, November 30th, 2012

Around the Web This Week


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Hey all! Has this been the world’s longest week or what? I am so excited that it’s finally Friday! There haven’t been many minutes to spare for web surfing (do people still say that, or is it totally 1995?), but we’ve been having fun playing around with our formerly semi-dormant Pinterest account.

1. Pinteresting. If I dive into Jonathan Boivin’s pins, I may never get another post written, so I’m just dipping in a toe. If your eyes need to rest on a lot of cool stuff, check out his Architecture Board. I love a house perched in the woods, especially photographed in snow. Thanks for leading us to the Delta Shelter by Olson Kundig Architects Jonathan!

2. More ethereal architecture. Jonathan’s pins led me over to Gis Van Vaerenbergh’s site, which led me to this amazing project, Reading Between the Lines. A vernacular church reimagined in the landscape, rendered in concrete and steel:

photo by Filip Dujardin

3. Art Basel and shoes. Alright, going in a vastly different direction, I was catching up on a little Neiman Marcus blog action and came across these handpainted Charlotte Olympia Lichtenstein-inspired shoes. In honor of all the Art Basel festivities, Ms. Olympia will be in the Bal Harbour Neiman’s store December 4, hand-painting her Dolly platform pump in the shoe salon. There’s some private event buying and pre-ordering involved. While I wouldn’t dare teeter around on such a platform, I’d put them in a lucite box and admire them:

image via NMDaily

Speaking of Art Basel, I’m in love with this piece, from Spain’s galería elba benítez:

image from Art Basel via galería elba benítez

4. Christmas tunes. What else is going on this week besides trying to avoid bad holiday music? My favorite Christmas song will always be Joan Jett’s version of Little Drummer Boy, with Christmas In Hollis by Run-DMC running a close second, which can be found on the first A Very Special Christmas album with the awesome cover art by the late Keith Haring.

For an entire album that makes for some nice tree-trimming background music, you really can’t go wrong with A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.